If you are reading this I am already part way to completing my mission and for that I am thankful.
My mission has been forming my entire life. I could never have imagined that I would have this chance, this mission, to do what I am doing right here and that you are a part of.
As I have written in my book, Finding Kansas, and on here, my life is a challenge. I hope you don't get the wrong impression about me. I know right now I have a great thing going with my job, and all the presentations I have given around the state of Missouri, but I still have challenges.
It's within these challenges that my mission lies. My mission is to raise awareness about the autism spectrum, but on top of that I want raise understanding. If you were to just see me in front of a group speaking you may think nothing is wrong with me. Get me in a small group outside that element and you may not recognize me. See me when I am stressed and serving sensory needs by coloring magazines and I may not acknowledge your presence.
If a family, or school doesn't understand what Asperger's can be then there is no way a positive situation can develop. School was very difficult for me and I believe it is critical to try and get as many teachers to understand what some of the challenges of Asperger's may be. Yes, there may be challenges, but there's more that makes us normal than sets us apart! Understanding is the first step towards helping in any situation. Do I have the answers in terms of a clinical setting? No, but if I can let you in on what it feels like, what it truly feels like to be anxious in a social setting, or overwhelmed by certain sounds, then I am fulfilling my mission.
I realize my story may not be your story, your child's story, or perhaps the story of someone you know. This is the difficult thing about the autism spectrum. This to is part of my personal mission. It is VITAL to realize that just because one person on the spectrum is good at math may not mean the next person is. Many times the news media will feature someone on the spectrum that may be a savant at a given thing, but that doesn't mean everyone on the spectrum is (a common misconception!).
Through my past experiences, and experiences to come, I hope to just shed some light on the thought processes and challenges a person on the spectrum may face. I don't know why I was given the gift of being able to write and I was fully resistant to any emotional talk up until I started writing, but I do have this now gift and I must use it.
Next month I have my big project on trying to conquer the mystery of eye contact. I hope this makes a big splash, but whether it does or not my mission is never ending. The rates of autism spectrum disorders is rising at an alarming rate and the need for knowledge has never been more important. This is my mission and I thank you for joining me on it.